Hey Ma. Today is your birthday and I’m very proud of you. I have some things to say I couldn’t say when I called you today, but you don’t ever let me finish and what I have to say is very important. So, listen up!
You gave me life. Sometimes you think I forgot that very important fact, but I haven’t. And I don’t mean you just gave birth to me. Since I have your attention, here are a few more important facts. I may be a “Daddy’s girl” sometimes but I’d like to think I’m Mama’s girl too! Daddy is my rock or the earth I stand on but you are the air I breath. I may have gotten my drive from Daddy but I got my ambition from you. You pushed me, made me dream. It wasn’t always fair when you were hardest on me, but I know it is because you see me in a way no one else can and it isn’t fair to them because what we have is very special. They don’t know my potential like you do and they don’t always know when I’m scared but you do; and all too often you call me on my bullshit. Sorry for the expletive but what else can you call it, I learned that from you and Daddy too.
You taught me so many things I am proud to know now, like Spanish and how to cook arroz con gandules and how to dance salsa y merengue. I learned how to be a proud Puerto Rican, a proud woman and loving, proud mother from you. I fought it when I was younger but now that I have to be a woman, and sometimes get my girl on, I’m glad it isn’t so foreign because of all the times I got to sit in the bathroom and watch you put on your makeup. I even learned the importance of never leaving the house looking like a bum. Okay, so I learned it the hard way when I ran into someone and look tore up but, right after I said, “Damn, Ma was right. Again.”
I used to think we would never get it “right,” that we would always bicker and fight. At some point I realized I was only half right. We will probably always bicker and even fight because you are honest, sometimes too honest, and repetitive (which I hate) but I wouldn’t respect anything less and Lord knows I’m stubborn. As far as getting it right, who’s to say we didn’t? You taught me to be me and set trends, not follow them and if this is us then so be it, I’m happy. I still get homesick, I still get excited when I know I am going to see you and I still want to make you proud so you are clearly doing something right! You and I both know you had to sort of “fly blind” and I think you have been [and still are] an ah-mazing woman, mother and Buela. I am fortunate to have had you as my example.
I know you know I love you, but do you know I appreciate you and respect you and wouldn’t change you for anything? You should. ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Mama! I hope you celebrate because you have so much to be proud of already, and it keeps getting better.
Con todo mi corazón,